इंडियन आवाज़     26 Sep 2023 07:35:50      انڈین آواز

Bajrang , Ravi win bronze as Sushil disappoints at World Wrestling Championships ..

Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi

Bajrang Punia (65kg) earned the distinction of becoming the first Indian grappler to win three medals from the UWW World Senior Wrestling Championships.

Top seed Punia edged fourth seed Tulga Tumur Ochir of Mongolia 8-7 at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, to take home the bronze medal to add to the silver he won in 2018 and the bronze in 2013.

The Indian contingent further celebrated as U-23 World Championships silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg) won a bronze to add to medal tally as well in his debut appearance at this prestigious event.

These are India’s second and third medals from the World Wrestling Championships this year following a bronze in 53kg of the women’s event brought home by Vinesh Phogat.

However former world champion Sushil Kumar’s return to the world stage, however, lasted only one round as he lost his 74kg opener.

A day after he lost a very close semi-final, World No. 1 Punia made a slow start to his bronze medal bout and even trailed 2-6 at the end of the first period. A burst of aggression in the second period allowed him to make a stunning comeback to take the coveted medal.

Both Bajrang and Ravi had confirmed their Tokyo 2020 Olympic tickets a day earlier. The 2015 Junior World Championships silver medallist Ravi showed terrific maturity in downing Iran’s Asian champion Reza Ahmadali Atrinagharchi 6-3 for a dream first outing at the Worlds.

Meanwhile, Parveen Rana (92kg) was the only one of the Indian wrestlers beginning his campaign today, who managed to win a bout. Rana made a bright start to his challenge when he beat Korea’s Changjae Sue 12-1 by technical superiority. He could not do much in the Round of 16 where Ukraine’s Liubomyr Sagaliuk brushed him aside in an 8-0 win.

2010 world champion Sushil Kumar’s comeback to the World Championships after eight years proved short-lived as he lost his first-round bout 9-11 to world junior champion Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev of Azerbaijan in 74kg. The 36-year-old Sushil had a 9-4 lead in this battle of generations but lost seven consecutive points to concede the bout.

Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Sumit Malik too failed to win a round after going down 0-2 to two-time European Championships medallist Daniel Ligeti of Hungary.

Karan Mor was no better in 70kg. Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan proved to be a roadblock for him as the Indian was completely outplayed in a 0-7 verdict.

Meanwhile,junior world champion Deepak Punia will hope to shine at the senior event having been seeded fourth in 86kg. But for that to happen, he needs to first overcome the Asian Games bronze medallist Adilet Davlumbayev of Kazakhstan.

Mausam Khatri, who won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games last year, has been presented with a tough draw as he faces the top seed and reigning Olympic champion Kyle Snyder in 97kg. As the second seed in 61kg, the Commonwealth Games champion Rahul Aware has a comparatively easier draw.

He faces the winner of the bout between Kerim Hojakov of Turkmenistan and Elmedin Sejfulau of Macedonia. In 79kg, Jitender starts off against Paskalov of Macedonia.


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